Bommai’s anti-conversion bill ‘is a shame on secular principles’, says Archbishop


From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network

Bengaluru, Dec 4: The proposed Anti-Conversion Bill that is to be introduced in the Belagavi session of the Stage Legislature commencing from December 13 ‘is a shame on the secular principles outlined by the Indian Constitution’, said Archbishop of Bangalore Most Rev Dr Peter Machado, in a statement on Saturday.

The Archbishop, who is the President of the Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishops’ Council and Chairman of All Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights, asked allsecular sections should raise their voice united on this dangerous law and said it is better to foresee communal violence before it really takes place.

He demanded that the State Government should not table the bill.

The Archbishop pointed out that the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues have on several occasions reiterated that the State Government will table the bill on Anti-Conversion, during the upcoming winter session of the Assembly in Belagavi.

“The entire Christian Community in Karnataka opposes the proposal of Anti-Conversion Bill in one voice and questions the need for such an exercise when sufficient laws and court directives are in place to monitor any aberration of the existing laws,’’ Archbishop Machado said.

He pointed out that the BJP MLA from Hosadurgain Chitradurga district Goolihatti Shekhar during the recentmonsoon session of the Karnataka Assembly, claimed religious conversions ‘by force or through inducement’ and was ‘rampant’ across the state.

The MLA also claimed that 15,000 to 20,000 people, including his own mother, were converted to Christianity in his constituency, the Archbishop said.

He pointed out that Hosadurgataluk Tahsildar conducted an enquiry into allegations made by the MLA Goolihatti Shekhar, and the result of the enquiry stated that there were no such attempts of forced conversions and that those who are converted to Christianity, did it out of their own willingness and conviction.

“If there were rampant conversions, as claimed by the MLA and others, the Christian population should, both in state and nation should have seen an increase. But the facts and figures indicate that orchestrated hue and cry over religious conversion is nothing but a futile exaggeration,’’ the Archbishop said.

According to State Government’s own data and the Census of India, the all-India percentage of Christian Population in the country in 2001 was 2.34 percent and in 2011, it shrunk to 2.30 percent, similarly in Karnataka the situation is no different.

The statistics give a clear picture that the Christian Population in the state of Karnataka, during the 2001 census amounted to 1.91 percent, while it significantly decreased to 1.87 percent in the year 2011.

According to media reports, the Anti-Conversion Bill in Karnataka will be ready by December 5, to be tabled in the next legislature session beginning from December 13.

Following are a few serious issues the community is concerned:

1. The Anti-Conversion Bill is primarily targeted against the minorities. All minorities and secular sections will have to raise a united voice against this.
2. The first Anti-Conversion Law was passed in Orissa in 1967. The attacks on the Christians began from 70s onwards, culminating in Kandamal genocide in 2007 and 2008.
The law gave a justification for the attacks on the Christians: Assemblies of God, Baptist Church, Believers Eastern Church, Roman Catholic Church, Church of South India, FCC0, Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, Lutheran Church, Malankara Orthodox Church, Marthoma Syrian Church, Methodist Church and Seventh Day Adventists.
3. After Odisha, the Anti-Conversion Law was passed in 6 other states in India. Not much resistance was put up against such an undemocratic law. As a result, the attacks on the Christians increased in all these states.
4. Today, there is enough documentation to show that persecution of Christians is taking place in every state and every union territory in India. The proposed law will only make the situation worse.
5. The issue of forced conversion is a highly exaggerated subject. Many of our BJP leaders have studied in Christian schools and they have also chosen Christian hospitals for the medical treatment. None of them were forcefully converted.
6. In Kandamal, forced conversion has taken place by the Hindutva forces pacing axes on the necks of the Adivasi Christians and Dalit Christians.
They were forcefully converted to Hinduism. The culprits are not punished despite the Anti-Conversion Law. All the victims still go to church and believe in their own original faith, despite the use of force in 2008. Faith is something that is deeply personal and cannot be forced.
7. In case when there is a case of forced conversion taking place, the present law under the Indian Constitution is more than sufficient to deal with such situations. There is no need for any additional law.
8. Anti-Conversion Law is a violation of the basic foundations of the Indian Constitution. It violates many articles in the Indian Constitution. Even Ambedkar who was the chief architect of Indian Constitution had converted to Buddhism without the permission of the state.
9. The Anti-Conversion Law is a shame on the secular principles outlined by the Indian Constitution. All secular sections should raise their voice united on this dangerous law. It is better to foresee communal violence before it really takes place.
10. The process of passing such a law in hurried manner itself is faulty. The Karnataka Government says that the draft of the bill will be ready on December 5 and it will be tabled in the legislature session starting from December.
11. So, where is the time and space for a public discussion? In crucial matters of this order, in a democracy, no bill should be allowed to be tabled without a proper public discourse. The bill should not be allowed to be tabled.

 

 

 

  

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Comment on this article

  • myna, mysuru

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    An excellent democratic way of protest and exemplary unity of minorities. If not for the State Government SOP not to allow assembly of more than 500 people the crowd would be overflowing the venue. Its time that those at the helm of affairs in the Government should stop mixing Religion and Politics. India has bled enough because of this unholy use of Religion for political ends. It's time the people put an end to the career of such politicians by voting them out.

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • A.M. Belma, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Dear Bishop Sir, You state ''Secular sections' to act. Yes they will act.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lenny Pais, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    It was sad to see the crowd that had gathered. Was very minimal, For sure, its obvious that there is no unity among minorities. Christians are only used as vote bank by the party that proudly claims itself as a savior. Some dont even go to churches and are least bothered. The other minority faction claims that 'they were not supported during the CAA protests ' and hence backed off as well. So its obvious we have to go with the Flow. Praise the Lord!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sheethal, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Lenny Pais, I agree with you and have witnessed this. Many of the parishers with whom I checked did not attend the protest. Claiming that they are NOT responsible for the activities what the church does and they go just to pray and do not want to get involved. God forbid anything happened, there would be anyone backing them . They might be right or wrong. Some claimed it as a headache to drive , caught in traffic and parking woes. Few are least bothered as they pray at home and dont visit churches, a La westerners.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand Dsouza, Mangalore

    Mon, Dec 06 2021

    Yes the new generation Christians just want church to preach to their own people. First take care of your people who dont go to church even once a week. Our Bishops and priests are kept a blind eye. This new young generation just visit when they want to marry in church. Then they visit again when they want to Baptise their child.

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • John, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Why Protest? Bishops of the state together One Holy Mass would do for the blessing and well being of Leaders of state and national leaders. God would bring lasting peace everywhere also One, One Holy Mass for the communist infilterated church at Rome and Also for world peace and to drive away communist world controlling corona pandemic + vaccines

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • John D'silva, Bahrain

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    This law is against basic human rights, Indian constitution give its citizens the right to belief and right to follow any religion. BJP and sang parivar want to keep the caste system intact ,so that they can abuse and exploit the lower caste people. BJP government is trying to turn Karnataka into a southern UP.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vishal, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Sir, Its not the question of 'percentage ' here. Its what some from these 'percentages' do. Its alarming, Hence this probe. Instead of protesting, its better to welcome the probe agencies and come out clean. Objecting will only anatogonize the situation .

    DisAgree [8] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Satya, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Read history my friend. Not so long ago a government of Nazis in an advanced western nation did the same to the Jewish community of that country. It all began with a benign survey and you know where it all ended. Fascist polices need to be nipped in the bud

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangaluru

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Secularism means freedom to practice your religion

    DisAgree [4] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Satya, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Simply don't understand how come the Christian population is dwindling in India in spite of rampant forced and induced conversions. One would have expected the Christians to be in the majority today as they had over 70 years to convert the country. I would say the missionaries are really lazy and inefficient and not doing their jobs. A real shame as tonnes and tonnes of rice bags allocated for conversions have gone waste.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anuj, Bangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    By this protest they have foolishly confirmed that they are in to forced conversion business. The Government should go ahead with the bill.

    DisAgree [18] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • El En Tea, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    You are wrong in front its look like anty conversion and from behind stabbing the Priests should not practice Word of God Gospel in the prayer hall. Without the World of GOD no meaning of prayer. We want prayer with WOG Let Hindus Practice Veda Bhagwita Geetha and understand the true meaning vedas. No one will oppose.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    The purpose of the so called anti-conversion bill is to stigmatize the Christian community.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ganesh M, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    As long as Hindus are in Majority in this Country, this country will move on as a country. Once their numbers get reduced India will be shred to pieces.

    DisAgree [25] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alfria, Manglore/Mumbai

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Bommai has no trust in his people and also no faith, as he is a bankrupt chief minister with no development work to show to the people that is why he is getting this bill just to hide his failures. Christian's should not react to this fellow very soon bommai will be ex chief minister.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sam, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Sir, all problems in Karnataka have only one solution. Give 40% of all earnings to BaJP sarakara and everything will be peaceful. Ask the contactors association for more details

    DisAgree [9] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    y? pettha gobernment's looting is not enough

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ben D'Souza Prabhu, Mangalore, Bombay Bandra now in Canada

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Our dear Bishop, you tell the truth ! you have spelled your dire opinion. Thanks for the stand you have taken ! MAY THE GOOD LORD BLESS YOU !!!

    DisAgree [8] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vishal, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Why is this BJP so much obsessed with religion? This BJP government has failed miserably in so many areas, so I guess just to divert the attention of the people, they are engaged in such senseless activities. And I genuinely feel Bommai has little say in such matters - he is dancing to the tunes of his masters in Delhi.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ajay Rebello, Kallianpur

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    FINALLY! UP 'model' in KARNATAKA what next! BIHAR 'model'.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sunil K, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Why is BJP poking it's stick in the bee-hive ? This unnecessary Bill/ Act may cause a stir in the West. Another tweet from Rihanna and Modi/Bommai will be scrambling to repeal the Act. Central government has less than 3 years left in power - better to use that time in strengthening the economy, reducing prices and creating jobs for those are willing to work.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [45] Reply Report Abuse

  • Manohar, Udupi

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Believe it or not.......Government action will help people to see the differences in the ROLE MODELS of various religions.....and convert voluntarily.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Brian, Mlore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Christianity is the most diversified religion now yet, the world population us dominated by them. Its the beginning and it will last till end of times. The faith is true and so the word.

    DisAgree [22] Agree [59] Reply Report Abuse

  • H. Almeida., Bendur/Andheri.

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Readers, the learned Arch Bishop Dr. Machado must primarily bring healing, reconciliations, among warring Christians in our nation !! The need of the hour is to strengthen the moral and spiritual principles of unity... " A house divided falls "

    DisAgree [49] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Veer, Nagpur

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    You have been forcefully converted to Christianity by BJP not by the church or missionaries. You take the first step now to convert back to Hinduism ‘Ghar Wapsi’ before you preach others. What is making you cling so dearly to Christianity yet speak ill about it. You are free to go back to your original faith, No force.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [54] Reply Report Abuse

  • HENRY MISQUITH, India

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Well said..I agree with you.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jacintha, mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Veer, well said. Christian do not require numbers , but faith

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Alfria, Manglore/Mumbai

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    You spell clearly what healing archibishop need to bring, if Christian are waring it's no problem still they are christians and beleive in Jesus that's enough, archibishop is a learned man and I don't think he needs a advice from a hate monger like you. You please get back to your original religion and get your original name back.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ms Dsouza, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    The population of Christians is 2-3%.This is nothing but to divert from the main issues. Most people have no problem sending their children to Christian schools, getting treatment in Christian hospitals. If that was the case many should have converted by now. I have one simple question why do these send children to study in Christian countries aren't they afraid they will be converted? Hypocrisy to the core. God is on the throne and he will bring justice. Jesus bless us all.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [58] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shetty, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Conversion is a slap on secularism. This bill isn't.

    DisAgree [79] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • prakash, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Ninna Karma.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shetty, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Karma haunts.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    trauma makes karma is it not your your dharma, r u not aware of sharma, don't pretend in making drama.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Canada

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Shetty what is secularism means?

    DisAgree [4] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Canada

    Sun, Dec 05 2021

    Shetty what is secularism means?

    DisAgree [5] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Brian, Mlore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    People throw stones only to mango tree 🌳with ripe mangoes🥭

    DisAgree [3] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohan, Bc Road sajipa

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    BJP government flopped .so this conversion law to gain Hindu vote public ity. Cow maatha lost its publicity.fake hindutva gone in cyclone to pacepic ocean. Modi wave gone to mars. Now nothing left for bip...just jumlaa bhasshan left.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [55] Reply Report Abuse

  • pili, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    if this bill is passed all christians must get united with our farmers and protest until they repeal it

    DisAgree [10] Agree [42] Reply Report Abuse

  • HENRY MISQUITH, India

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    First solve the casteism in your religion then the conversion will stop...

    DisAgree [13] Agree [51] Reply Report Abuse

  • Adrian, Bombay

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    It's time for the minorities to unite & raise their voices as one. Else it's only a matter of time before they cease to exist in India. They need international community support. I hope and pray we all can live peacefully without any hate & fear. Without imposing our religious views on another religion.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • Veer, Nagpur

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    BJP is very well aware that people are converting willfully, voluntarily, without compulsion, luring or force to Christianity in masses and BJP has no control over it. People are knocking church doors to get converted, missionaries are not going to the people to convert. Church has demanded court letter from people regarding their demand and people are getting it. The only way BJP can control it by brining in ‘Forceful Anti Conversion Bill’. BJP is nervous and desperate of losing elections. There is no force in democracy and there is a law in force against forceful conversion but BJP is using its force to destroy democracy and people’s willful right to religion. Vinasha Kallake Viparitha Buddhi.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alex, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Archbishop is trying his best in trying to protect the Christian community from the proposed bill which when passed would result in big Christian prosecution. Request all Christians and all our well wishing brothers of every religion to support. karnataka is a peaceful state and let the bills not polarise people. we should change our lukewarm approach to our faith .

    DisAgree [7] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rakesh, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    “And you will be hated by everyone because of my name, but whoever will endure until the end, he will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

    DisAgree [5] Agree [51] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sanjay, Hebri

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    I just can't understand why a survey is worrying few ...the same govt is controlling our temples since independence, why does govt controls other communities worshipping places? Why object to equality???

    DisAgree [65] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Veer, Nagpur

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Because BJP forcefully converted Kandimal christians to Hinduism but those converted Hindus are still going to the church, maintaining and practicing their original Christian faith FYI.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [48] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Raheja Waterfront

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Diversionary tactics from BJP's Flop Show ...

    DisAgree [17] Agree [44] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn Dsouza, Canada

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    My sincere prayers for you for standing up for this evil. God grant them wisdom to think wisely and good for everyone than discrimination against it's own citizens. Elected people in power misusing thier office towards own citizens. If every nation start using such anti conversion bill then Indians will be deported from middle east , America and Europe . So what is the fate of such losers scared of 2% of Christianity in India. I see many Hindus are good but they are not condemning such evils which is sad. .

    DisAgree [9] Agree [48] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mallar, Mallar

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Help me know how conversion helps any minority community. If the archbishop is against this, there should be some reasoning. Just because bjp is doing it, how the dalit chritians and adivasi cristians get effected.

    DisAgree [25] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • sri_elder, Karkala

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    I think voluntarily conversions are possible. Now mass conversions are impossible. People are forced to continue in their own religions. I think minorities should worry. They can practice their religion peacefully. Even minorities cannot jump to other religions as well 😁

    DisAgree [43] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mallar, Mallar

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Help me understand the reason for conversion and the advantage of getting converted.

    DisAgree [17] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Well wisher, Kudla

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Do you want advantage of getting converted, then you are doing business with faith and it shows your mentality.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossy Tauro, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    When you get power in hand you need to show to the public that he done some thing. So Bommai now showing his colours or some ones force to save his chair. Anyway this power is temperory... Modi give big talks about democracy and secularism in abroad countries whenver he visited. This is all fake promises to the world. But inside the real venom is always there to destroy minority like Muslims and Christians and to harrase them. But they don't know the power ofHim in a second he will destroy their proudness. But God has patience and giving chance to change their mind

    DisAgree [16] Agree [53] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rathan, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 04 2021

    Jossy God will give time holds good for archbishop too

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse


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Title: Bommai’s anti-conversion bill ‘is a shame on secular principles’, says Archbishop



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